It is the second weekend in December. Christmas is two weeks from today. And we did absolutely nothing holiday-related this entire weekend. It was wonderful.
Last weekend we went to see a children’s production of The Nutcracker. It was inexpensive, and advertised to be an hour-long show, so it sounded perfect. In actuality, it was two hours with no intermission. It was at 11 am and we planned on lunch after. Instead we left at one, with two bored and starving kids, who proceeded to have meltdown after meltdown all afternoon. It was not a pleasant day.
This weekend, there are even more holiday events happening. Theater, ballet, symphony, train expos, holiday lights events, parties, and more. I could have packed our schedule full, like many of our friends did. But I didn’t.
What we did with our weekend instead
Friday night we had pizza and watched a movie and the kids played. On Saturday, the kids played and we did some cleaning and work at home before going out for an early dinner. Sunday, the kids played in the first snow of the season, had hot cocoa, and played more. We got a few things done around the house to feel better about the busy weeks ahead.
All weekend I’ve been getting texts from friends saying how they are so busy with events, and about their kids being unhappy during said events. I’m really glad we aren’t participating.
But aren’t holiday traditions important?
Don’t get me wrong. We have plenty of holiday traditions, and we will do more this holiday season. Family traditions are important for children. But so is plenty of time for free play. And plenty of unstructured time away from school and structured activities. They aren’t miniature adults, and don’t always find events fun and relaxing the way we can. In fact, for my kiddo with sensory “stuff,” events are often hard work. New situations are hard for him, and new smells, loud sounds, and big events require a lot from him. As adults, it’s easy to see it all through our adult lenses and forget that children’s needs are different.
It’s also easy to forget that December seems to have its own buzz. A hum of energy about it, with everyone being busy and feeling like there is so much to get done and so much fun to be had. Adults help feed the buzz, and kids get swept up in it, too. My kids are already amped up on the very thought of Christmas and general holiday excitement. Add to that changing schedules and different events, at home and at school, and they deserve the chance to have a mellow, relaxed weekend. They are much happier than they were last weekend when we were so very go, go, go.
Our relaxing weekend has been so great. I’m once again reminded that going against the flow, rather than being swept up in it, can be such a great choice to make.